• Next book for reading?
    You make a good case for companions or commentaries for help and guidance with Kierkegaard, but not so much for using one as the central, required, text in a reading group. Doesn't it make more sense for each member to use secondary work of their own choosing and use that to help them interpret the primary source before posting in the group?

    Anyway, I'll butt out now: the participants can decide for themselves.
  • Next book for reading?
    Generally speaking, commentaries and companions are a bad idea in reading groups. Whoever takes part in a reading group should work through the original along with everyone else, and only consult the secondary literature occasionally, to supplement and clarify the reading.

    If you're not willing to properly take part in a reading group, why would you think it okay to ask the people who are doing the work to do it in a way that suits you?
  • On sex
    I'm a 28 year old virgin who spends their time on PornHub and the likesWallows

    I'm not quite that desperateWallows

  • On sex
    Yes, by "meeting people" I probably mostly mean getting laid. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it's not easy to get laid without meeting people. I met my wife (wife now, not then) on Tinder, and she later said she only agreed to meet me because I said I was "looking for friendship ...", which was rather dishonest of me.
  • On sex
    I'm not a fan of Tinder. I can't stand cheesy/sexual chat up lines and "normal" conversations via text are so boring. Nothing beats meeting people in real lifeMichael

    Tinder is a way of arranging such meetings, not an alternative to them.

    Maybe that's how it's mostly used, but it's not really my experience of it.

    Anyway, there are many other apps and sites that make it easy to meet people. And that's what it's about: meeting people.
  • On sex
    So, what have I got wrong in my perception of women?Wallows

    I think yes, your perception is conditioned, or "warped" as you say, by your circumstances. But whatever we tell you will probably not alter those circumstances or change how you feel. You need to meet some women. You know that most women do not appear on PornHub, so you already know that your perception is wrong, and in what way it is wrong.

    When I was young I was unsuccessful with women, and I had a kind of bitterness developing towards women who enjoyed sex or behaved overtly sexually. All of that stuff--which in retrospect is like a poison--disappears when your life changes, i.e., when you get laid and make friends with women. But I guess these days it's easier to get trapped in porn and misogyny because of the internet.

    On the other hand, also because of the internet it's easier to meet other people now. Have you tried Tinder?
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism

    But isn't it good that you have non-Muslims like George Eaton, and a few people here, to protect you from offence? :wink:

    Maybe they'll say you have internalized Islamophobia.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    I start to wonder about dementiaunenlightened

    Reading your recent posts, so do I.
  • Pomposity
    I did not enjoy being assaulted by the thought of "masturbatory diarrhea" first thing in the morning.
  • The Shoutbox
    Hardly anyone comes here any more anyway
  • The Shoutbox
    Maybe you're right, but meh. I'm a deal with it when it happens kind of guy.
  • The Shoutbox
    Unenlightened posted the news article and I responded here, but then realized it would make a good discussion so I copied my post and made the new discussion.
  • The Shoutbox
    No it isn't. It is a completely untenable, racist lieunenlightened

    As all the people I've read who make the claim, or who criticize the concept of Islamophobia, are not racist, and are even sometimes explicitly anti-racist, I certainly don't think it's a racist lie. Which is not to say that racists haven't said it too, obviously.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Thanks for the thoughtful response. It's good to know that some people who strongly disagree with Scruton's opinions are willing to be reasonable.
  • Philosopher Roger Scruton Has Been Sacked for Islamophobia and Antisemitism
    Yeah I mean saying that there is a "Soros Empire" formed by and around an "extensive network" of "Jewish intelligentsia" who are pulling the strings, is an age old antiSemitic stereotype through and through.Maw

    Knowing that you've seen the full quotation, I have to say that this is beneath contempt.

    The idea that the term 'Islamophobia", or, more saliently, the meaning behind it is agitprop is detestably ludicrous. In fact, I think the term "Islamophobia" doesn't fully express the connotations it ought to have, as compared to antisemitism. But that's fairly demonstrative of what can and can't be discussed, as shown by the rancor expressed towards Ilhan Omar.Maw

    You attempt to push his position outside the realm of reasonable opinion, but really you just disagree with him. I happen to agree with him.

    But why should I or anyone really care that Roger Scruton is losing a Government position because of this?Maw

    A predictable and thoughtless question. It's not for any personal sympathy for him or his agenda as a government housing adviser, but--obviously--because of what it shows about the state of public debate, of government, of cultural mores, and of journalism.
  • The West's Moral Superiority To Islam
    Anyone who thinks "The West" or "Islam" can be conceptualized as a monolith, unquestionably has a child's understanding of history and modernity.Maw

    I more or less agree with this.

    That's all there is to it.Maw

    But this is wrong. Can one criticize the West as such? Can one criticize Islam as such? Even though I may have indulged in both in the past, in the end I think both kinds of criticism are pretty stupid. Notice that both of these stupid criticisms have appeared in this discussion.
  • The Shoutbox
    EDIT: I've posted an edited version of this comment here:

    I like several of Roger Scruton's books, and his treatment is a disgrace. His knowledge and appreciation of Islam are profound, and the idea that Islamophobia is an invented propaganda word is a legitimate one. I don't see anything wrong with what he said in that recent interview, nor have I read anything anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic, racist or xenophobic in the books and articles of his I've read, most of which are deeply humane and thoughtful.

    I shouldn't have to say any of that here, on a philosophy forum. This is a witless attack on free speech, and the eager acceptance of such attacks by liberals and intellectuals, including here on TPF, makes me despair. And obviously, Scruton is not a fascist.

    It seems that this has happened following an interview and article by George Eaton published in the New Statesman. To see just how reliable the writer of this article might be, here are Scruton's original words about Hungary, which he defended in the interview, and which are being presented as evidence of anti-semitism:

    Many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish, and form part of the extensive networks around the Soros Empire. People in these networks include many who are rightly suspicious of nationalism, regard nationalism as the major cause of the tragedy of Central Europe in the 20th century, and do not distinguish nationalism from the kind of national loyalty that I have defended in this talk. Moreover, as the world knows, indigenous anti-Semitism still plays a part in Hungarian society and politics, and presents an obstacle to the emergence of a shared national loyalty among ethnic Hungarians and Jews. — Scruton

    To present this as anti-semitic is simply dishonest. The more you look at George Eaton's behaviour around this, his articles and Tweets, the more plain it is that this deputy editor of the New Statesman (!) has been part of a smear campaign.

    To balance the Guardian and Statesman, here's another take on the affair (which by the way also reveals the shocking truth about what Scruton thinks of Chinese people):

    TRIGGER WARNING: not only does that link take you to the Spectator :gasp:, but the article is written by Douglas Murray :scream:

    What is it about philosophers and Fascism?unenlightened

    Although Freud’s attempt at explaining homophobia might be held to justify the use of that term to describe at least some of the negative views that some people hold about homosexuality, this is no excuse for inventing ‘Islamophobia’ as an explanation of the negative views that many people hold about Islam. The invention of this term by activists of the Muslim Brotherhood is a rhetorical trick, though it seems that my habit of pointing this out is a further proof that I am guilty. Are we then to suppose that people are repelled by Islam because of the unconscious desire to embrace it, this repulsion being part of an elaborate defence mechanism? Or could it be that murder, genocide, rape and enslavement carried out in the name of Islam have made people somewhat suspicious of the faith? My own view, expounded in The West and the Rest and elsewhere, is that the only phobia involved here is the natural revulsion against those horrible crimes, and has nothing to do with Islam, which is abused by those who commit the crimes and not by those who are repelled by them. However, I am sure that there are out-of-context sentences to be extracted here that will be useful in pinning on to me an accusation that admits no presumption of innocence, there being, as with all nonsense accusations, no gap between accusation and guilt. — Scruton

    It's not typical of his books but I like it. I didn't notice anything anti-philosophical, unless you mean his anti-continental bias, which is actually mild compared with other Anglo philosophers.
  • Violent Criminals And Australian Manhood
    They were mostly deporting poor people, whom they classified as white trash, deplorables (term from Hilary Clinton's campaign), riff raff, useless, and so forth. The ruling-class Brits hated the poor. Poverty was criminalized. Criminals were deported.Bitter Crank

    Yep. Incidentally, this was a time when the concept of race was quite different from how it is now. It wasn't about colour, or wasn't only about colour: the poor were seen by many in the higher classes as being an inferior race, social classes being regarded as reflecting innate differences.

    Not especially relevant to this discussion, but relevant to modern discussions about race.
  • Violent Criminals And Australian Manhood
    In Australia, where I presently live, the biggest problem is how men treat women. There are many good things about Australia, but this is a national disgrace. The Australian men have an international reputation for abusive treatment of women; and that makes Australian men look like creeps.

    Why is this so? Most likely because the first white people in Australia were violent criminals [...]
    Ilya B Shambat

    Even if it were true that the early European settlers were (mostly?) violent criminals, I can't see how that would account for the behaviour of today's Australian men. But in fact, most of the convicts were sent to Australia not for violent crimes but for petty crimes, born out of poverty.
  • Ancient Texts
    It comes pretty naturally out of what follows, I think. You treat meaning rather like a thing or a property, whereupon it seems mysterious that it could survive without a context, and how does it survive, in what form etc. I'm saying that if we just look at what we mean by meaning and especially mean, these concerns seem to miss the point.
  • Ancient Texts
    Reification of meaning.

    I take you to mean an ancient text in an unknown language that is as yet undeciphered.

    In one sense it is meaningful: we know it means something, but we don't know what. We recognize it as language, that it had a role in a culture, and so on.

    In another sense it is not meaningful: it's meaningless to us, it carries no meaning in practice to any language-using meaning-making creatures.

    So asking if the meaning was lost when its culture disappeared or is somehow still contained in the stone tablet, waiting to be released again, is ambiguous. It's either, depending on how you're using the word "meaning".

    What is the philosophical issue beyond this? Well, even with this ambiguity we can still say that meaning is always at least originally bound up in a context of social practices, or, if you prefer, is always at least originally located in individual minds. Which means that the question isn't an enlightening one, in that it doesn't do much to resolve that debate.

    Or am I missing the issue?
  • The Doctor
    No, not that doctor.S

    Maybe more like Dr Nick Riviera?
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    So it Isn't that people don't see it. What other reasons could there be for lack of an article submission ?


    1.Those that have the ability to write such simply weigh up the pros and cons and don't think It's worth it. Wouldn't they be looking at publishing in a physical, established magazine like Philosophy Now.
    I am not sure about the monetary reward. I think someone once told me that they receive a free annual subscription. Are there copyright issues ?
    2. Some might be put off by the wording and don't feel ready to Submit. Encouragement and feedback throughout the writing process might produce more results.
    3. An initial stimulus or prod suggesting a theme that members could compete in writing about.

    Yeah, I had an article published in Philosophy Now a long long time ago, and I received a year's subscription.

    Otherwise I'm not sure. It could simply be that while that discussion was pinned, we didn't have many members. The forum's grown a lot since then.
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    I did find it difficult to find information about articles. It comes under 'article submissions' stuck between 'Feedback' and 'About TPF'. The headline 'ARTICLES' at top of page only takes you to the one and only article ever published ( as far as I can remember ).Amity

    If my memory serves me right, I had the Submit an article for publication discussion pinned at the top of the forum for a year or more, and we got almost nothing.
  • Brexit
    I'm interested in hearing jamalrob's opinion on proceedings.Evil

    Hi Evil. I don't think I have the heart for this debate any more. Who knows, maybe I'll muster the energy to gather up my tatty old opinions for another try, but maybe not.
  • The subject in 'It is raining.'
    Unless you go with the Bitter Crank-Terrapin view that "it" refers to the conditions (which is the view of at least one linguist, so Google tells me), it's just a dummy subject, stuck in there to satisfy the syntactical rules of English. In Spanish you'd say "llueve". There's no subject, because of the way Spanish works.

    So along with some others here I suspect it's not a philosophical issue.

    EDIT: Just noticed that Dawnstorm made the same point.
  • Is our dominion over animals unethical?
    A question with a view to showing that ethics is about the things we value and not merely about moral comprehension: if I destroy the Mona Lisa for no reason other than wanton destructiveness, is it a simple category mistake to call the action immoral?
  • Is our dominion over animals unethical?
    I'm sure you can imagine examples. The point is to show that our actions in respect of people or babies or animals or dead bodies or psychopaths do in fact take place in a moral sphere independently of any assessment of individual criteria such as future moral comprehension. The concepts of right and wrong do in fact, in real-world communities, apply to those actions. I take you to be arguing either (1) that they should not apply, that perhaps people all over the world have made a mistake, or (2) for a meta-ethical position whereby you think that the only reason we apply the concepts of good and bad to our treatment of others is that we recognize that they are, or will be, moral agents--that they have individually satisfied some criteria (and hence that principled veganism is based on a mistaken assessment). If your position is the latter, then it seems to me that our moral concern for people with severe cognitive impairment, for the dead bodies of our loved ones, and for pet animals stand as counterexamples.

    You do not treat a person well because you've established that they have the mental capacities that you deem to be requirements for morality. And if you treat a person well on that presumption, you do not suddenly treat them as morally insignificant if you later find out that they lack those capacities.

    But my wider point was that ethics just is about human actions concerning the things we value. We value pet dogs and most non-psychopaths would not wish to see them tortured. This is an ethical matter despite a dog's possible lack of moral comprehension. Do you disagree?

    EDIT: The even wider point is that I think you are appealing to an intuition that is close to my own view, which is about species membership and the moral sphere of human society (which includes animals, though not as moral agents). I.e., I think that individual capacities are a red herring.
  • Is our dominion over animals unethical?
    The case with infants is different, the infant will grow up and gain moral comprehensionDingoJones

    But take the generalized AMC. Some infants may not ever gain moral comprehension--it could be some kind of severe mental disability--and yet they would, obviously I think, remain morally significant.
  • Is our dominion over animals unethical?
    This probably doesn't go any way towards answering you, but note that I should have said something like: "That is, you could argue that species membership justifies the exploitation (the use) of animals". I didn't mean to suggest an argument in which species membership justifies any treatment that is currently practised, like cruelty.
  • Is our dominion over animals unethical?
    By the way, @Sir2u amd @DingoJones: the omnivore argument is pretty lame. Surely people here should agree for the sake of argument with the very reasonable proposition that all people could conceivably live healthy lives without animal products? Principle of charity and all that.
  • Is our dominion over animals unethical?
    Our interaction with animals is not an ethical matter. Ethics are a social contract which animals cannot agree too. What animals DO abide by is nature, survival. That is something humans are capable of understanding, and Id go further and say that humans are already doing that. We are a part of the food chain after all. Its just incoherent, to me at least, to include them in ethics. Even if we ignore that and we focus only on what humans can do to measure animals according to our rules, wouldnt we be obligated to do everything we can to reduce the suffering of animals inflicted by other animals? It doesnt make sense.DingoJones

    I can go along with your position that interactions between non-human animals are not governed by morality, and that animals are not moral agents. The trouble is that the human treatment of animals is part of the moral sphere, simply owing to their involvement in our practices. In doing things with animals we involve them in our relations with each other, and the "ethicality" of those intrahuman relations is thereby in a manner of speaking transferred on to the direct relations between humans and animals.

    I think just about anything can be "included in ethics" that concerns human actions, so the human treatment of animals is or can be an ethical matter. Let's agree that animals are not moral agents. Does it follow that human actions involving them are not a matter for ethics? I don't think so. Some version of the argument from marginal cases (AMC) can be used to show this. E.g., the treatment of infants is a matter for ethics even though they might have no concept of right and wrong.

    Notice that the AMC is not here being used to argue for anything so strong as animal rights, and in my opinion it doesn't even show that the exploitation of animals is wrong. What it shows is that human actions that involve beings--human, non-human, and maybe even non-living (dead bodies)--without the mental abilities we consider as normal for humans--such as the concept of self, right and wrong, and temporal self-awareness--are ethically significant, or can be.

    One intuitive way to see how this is so is to observe that the cruel treatment of animals may do harm to humans. The knowledge of cruel practices, and certainly the witnessing of or taking part in those practices, may have a brutalizing effect on people. I don't want to make any argument depend on this, but it's one way to look at it.

    And it seems to me quite difficult to claim that the treatment of pets is not an ethical matter, which your position implies.

    Now if I'm right and it is an ethical matter, you could still argue that it is not wrong to exploit animals, perhaps by invoking the significance of species membership (which includes the so-called "marginal cases"). That is, you could argue that species membership justifies our treatment of animals, even though it doesn't justify the claim that the treatment of animals is not ethically significant at all. This would probably be something like my own position, e.g., we can eat meat without doing wrong, so long as we don't treat the animals cruelly.
  • Direct Realism as both True and False
    The effects: conscious experiences, will never be the things they are experiencing. It is nonsensical to even think that could be the case, and to even ask the question: "How can we see things as they really are?"Harry Hindu

    Yes indeed.

    215. Here we see that the idea of 'agreement with reality' does not have any clear application. — Wittgenstein, On Certainty
  • Dennett on Colors
    Darwin explicitly uses it as a metaphor. I can't see in what way he treats it as a deity. On the contrary.

    Otherwise, you seem to be railing against the popular conception of evolution. I agree that people get it wrong, but in my experience they don't seem to misunderstand it in the way you describe, and in any case I don't see how such misunderstandings are caused by a metaphor.

    EDIT: By far the worst popular misunderstandings of evolution are: evolution as a ladder leading to humans (which predates Darwin), and the related idea that e.g., humans evolved from chimpanzees
  • Dennett on Colors
    what the metaphor is forWayfarer

    To help people understand natural selection: it is as if there were a breeder selecting suitable variations.

    Because it is assumed in all naturalistic accounts that there is no agency at work, and yet in the above, the metaphor is precisely one of agency, something that acts. This is the subtle duplicity at the heart of evolutionary biology qua philosophy.Wayfarer

    How is it duplicity if it's explicitly metaphorical?

    EDIT: sorry @Marchesk, this is off-topic
  • Emotional Reasoning
    Just use a single thread for all of them please.
  • Direct Realism as both True and False
    Yes, in fact I agree. But given Marchesk's definition of indirect perception as the perception of mental objects (as intermediaries between things "out there" and consciousness), one could say that an awareness of one's own perception is an example of indirect perception, in a manner of speaking. However, I'm not sure that this kind of awareness is what he means by "conscious perception".
  • Direct Realism as both True and False
    when I'm conscious of driving, the content of my perception is a conscious experience, which is mental. I'm no longer directly perceiving the car on the road. Instead, I'm perceiving a world of feels, sounds, colors, smells, and so on.Marchesk

    There's a missing premise here. You assume the equivalence of the content of perception and the objects of perception.

    But the content of perception--if it means anything at all--is the way things look, sound, taste, and yet it is the things that look, sound, and taste that way. To say that you are perceiving the way things look, sound, taste, is tantamount to saying you are perceiving your perception (one can attend to one's own perception, but this is not what you are talking about (or is it?)).

    Also, in an ecological direct perception account, the "non-conscious" absorption in an activity in an environment is paradigmatic of perception. To be conscious of one's experience sounds to me like those cases where one attends so much to one's own experience that successful absorption breaks down--as when you focus so much on what your hands and feet are doing that you momentarily lose the ability to drive.

    EDIT: maybe that means that I kind of agree with you, or at least with this: perception is sometimes direct and sometimes indirect